5 min read Apr 09, 2024

4-Point Inspection: What It Is and Why You Need One

More than 10.5 million homes in the United States are between 21 and 30 years old. 87% of buyers bought previously owned homes in 2023. This indicates that a majority of people are likely to purchase older houses.

A 4-point inspection is typically required when buying a home older than 10 years or getting home insurance. 86% of home inspections found some issues in them that needed to be fixed. 19.7% of issues were identified in the roof while 18.7% were found in the electrical system.

That’s why, a 4-point inspection is necessary. It examines 4 crucial components of a house – the electrical system, plumbing system, roofing, and HVAC.

🔍 Why get a 4-point inspection?

  • Home insurance companies mandate a 4-point inspection to understand their potential liability before providing an insurance.
  • The 4 components examined in this inspection are most likely to be faulty, old, or outdated in older properties.
  • A 4-point inspection costs about $50 to $150, comparatively lesser than a comprehensive home inspection.

What Does a 4-Point Inspection Cover?

A 4-point home inspection examines the important aspects necessary for the proper functioning of a house. These systems are:

  • Electrical System: An electrical inspection identifies faulty or outdated wiring, lack of earthing, or overloaded circuits.
  • Plumbing Systems: Plumbing inspection examines issues in the toilets and sinks for pipeline damages, leakages, corrosion, damaged fittings, and more.
  • HVAC: HVAC inspection includes an examination of a home’s heating, cooling, and ventilation systems. It looks at its electrical components, airflow, general maintenance, and system failures.
  • Roofing: A roof inspection identifies leaks, mold, wear and tear, or structural issues in a home’s roof.

Do You Need a 4-Point Inspection?

If you’re buying an older home, you might need a 4-point inspection. Older homes are more likely to have structural problems or damage because of their age. However, if you’re buying a new home, this inspection is not necessary.

When obtaining or renewing home insurance, a four-point inspection is necessary for insurers to assess potential liabilities. You might have to repair any significant issues that the inspector identifies in your property.

Here are some things you may encounter if an inspector identifies some major problems:

  • Risk Mitigation Requirements: The insurer may give you a timeline to fix the identified issues.
  • Increased Premiums: The insurance company adjusts the premium rates based on the risk factors involved. Higher premiums help offset the increased likelihood of claims.
  • Policy Limitations or Exclusions: Insurers may impose limitations or exclusions on coverage of specific types of damage.
  • Risk-Based Underwriting: Insurance companies evaluate the overall risk profile and the likelihood of claims. Homes with a higher risk may face stricter underwriting criteria.
  • Policy Non-Renewal or Cancellation: In severe cases where significant risks cannot be managed, the insurer may choose not to renew the policy. This is usually a last resort to avoid potential large payouts.

How Much Does a 4-Point Inspection Cost?

A four point home inspection can cost between $50 to $150 on average. However, this cost varies significantly depending on the state or insurance company. Likewise, the property’s age and insurer’s requirements also influence the cost of a four point inspection.

4-Point Inspection vs. Home Inspection

A 4-point inspection focuses only on four major home systems. Insurance companies rely on the inspection report to determine the insurability of a house and set insurance premiums.

On the other hand, a home inspection is a detailed examination covering multiple house components. A home inspection aims to produce a comprehensive report on the house’s overall condition. It is highly recommended for most buyers, as it helps them make an informed decision when buying a house.

» Looking for a Home Inspector? Check out home inspectors near you.

How to Pass a 4-Point Home Inspection?

Insurance companies have specific requirements that a property must meet to be eligible for insurance coverage. To ensure that it meets these requirements, here are some steps you can take:

  • Research or read up a little about common issues found in the components that will be inspected. These issues include roof damage or common plumbing issues.
  • Check for visible signs of water leakages, damages, loose or exposed wires, or malfunctioning devices.
  • Schedule regular maintenance checks to ensure smooth operation of the systems.
  • Call in a plumber, electrician, roofer, or HVAC professional to repair any significant issues before the 4-point inspection.

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Bottom Line

Getting a 4-point inspection is necessary if you’re looking to buy an old home or want to get home insurance. While a four-point inspection addresses insurance concerns, buyers can also get a thorough home inspection to understand the property’s condition.

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How long does a 4 point inspection take?

A 4-point inspection typically lasts from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the property system's size and complexity.

Do you need a 4 point inspection for insurance?

Yes, a four-point home inspection is often required by insurance companies to evaluate the condition, safety, and functionality of the HVAC, roofing, electrical, and plumbing systems.

How long does a 4-point inspection take?

A 4-point inspection lasts for about 30 minutes to 2 hours.

» Know More: How Much Does a 4-Point Inspection Cost?

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